Six years of high school (with job training)?

President Obama’s visit to P-Tech, a six-year high school in Brooklyn, spotlighted the idea of combining high school, community college and job training.

Linked learning — schoolwork combined with job internships — is expanding in Oakland Unified.

Authors: Testing kills love of reading

Testing kills children’s “love of reading,” according to a bunch of children’s authors and illustrators who signed Fair Test‘s open letter to President Obama. Judy Blume, Maya Angelou and Jules Feiffer are the big names.

. . . requirements to evaluate teachers based on student test scores impose more standardized exams and crowd out exploration.

We call on you to support authentic performance assessments, not simply computerized versions of multiple-choice exams. We also urge you to reverse the narrowing of curriculum that has resulted from a fixation on high-stakes testing.

Our public school students spend far too much time preparing for reading tests and too little time curling up with books that fire their imaginations.

If children’s love of reading has declined in recent years, blame multimedia, responds Patrick Riccards in Are you there, God. It’s me, Eduflack.

Do we blame the bubble sheet, or do we blame the multitude of options now competing for a young learner’s attention?

Honestly, I’m getting a little tired of testing being blamed for all that is perceived wrong in our country.  . . . We ignore that testing has been a part of our public schools for as long as we’ve had public schools.  We overlook that testing data can play a meaningful role in improving both teaching and learning.  We avoid the true debate, a discussion about ensuring the value of testing and the use and application of high-quality assessments.

You know what really kills the love of reading? Not being able to read very well.

Obama plan won’t control college costs

President Obama’s college rating plan won’t control college costs, an analyst argues.

Proposed changes in financial aid designed to improve completion rates could limit low-income students’ access to college, a new report warns.

Don’t worry. Keep borrowing

President Obama’s plan to rate colleges is “yet another mistaken attempt . . . to alleviate some of the symptoms of a problem without actually addressing the underlying disease,” writes Erika Johnsen. The other part of the plan — promoting income-based repayment — will make the disease worse.

The “easy, cheap and indiscriminate availability of student loans ” juices demand and helps universities raise their prices, writes Johnsen. The Obama administration keeps sending out “signals about how ‘easy’ it will be to repay these huge loans after you graduate with a little help from Your Friend, The Federal Government.”

School shows ‘I Pledge’ (to serve Obama) video

In a 2009 video called “I Pledge,” celebrities promise to do good works, “be the change” and support President Obama. A little more than three minutes in, Demi Moore says: “I pledge to be a servant to our president.” Hudson, Wisconsin parents complained when the video was shown to middle-school students on ”Peace One Day.”

Middle School Principal Dan Koch apologized to students the next day.

“The ‘I Pledge’ video we viewed yesterday included some messages about serving President Barack Obama. . . . The video conveyed a message that people serve the presidency when in fact our elected officials serve the people.”

Peace One Day – Sept. 21 — is “an annual day of global unity, a day of intercultural cooperation on a scale that humanity has never known.”

Innovation? Feds side with status quo

The same day President Obama called for innovative approaches to online education to save students’ money, the Justice Department told Altius Education, an innovator in online education, that it is under investigation.

Performance funding doesn’t boost success

President Obama’s higher education plan lauds states that link college funding to student success measures, but there’s “little evidence that performance funding improves student success,” new studies find.

Obama also praised competency-based education, but federal financial aid is based on “seat time” rather than learning.

A future for all: Build paths to skilled jobs

While President Obama focuses on sending more young people to college, vocational education and apprenticeships, which build pathways to skilled jobs, are neglected.

Obama college plan needs reality check

President Obama’s plan to link financial aid to college “value” will penalize lower-income students for attending colleges with low graduation rates and low earnings for graduates, argue two analysts, who call for a “reality check.”

Comparing college graduation rates is meaningless, unless students’ academic ability and other characteristics are taken into account.

Obama plan worries community colleges

President Obama’s plan to link federal aid to colleges’ graduation rates and graduates’ earnings “falls somewhere between “irrelevant” and “catastrophic” for community colleges.

Private colleges that educate many teachers and social workers also are concerned.

Additional need-based student aid helped low-income Florida students stay in school and earn a degree, a new study finds.